Pilates Continues to Experience Growth

According to IDEA’s 2010 Program and Equipment trends in fitness, Pilates is continuing its’ growth spurt. [i] According to the survey, which was taken by 157 IDEA business and program directors, 90% of them are offering some type of Pilates programming at their facility.[ii]  Pilates offers many options for one to practice: Mat, Tower, Reformer – private or semi privates, or even boot camp style classes.  Pilates can offer something for everyone and it works!

Pilates was created by Joseph Pilates in early 1900’s.  He originally called the method of exercises, “Contrology”.  It wasn’t till after Joe died and his students started teaching the method that it took the name of Pilates, which became the “official” name of the method in 2001.  Since then the Method has exploded in popularity, now it has become more mainstream.  It used to be Pilates was just practiced in Pilates Studios, but now you see it in larger gyms as well.

Pilates typically falls into two areas of practice; mat and equipment.  Mat is usually taught in a small group setting, where as the equipment sessions can be done in a private or semi-private setting.  As a Pilates instructor and studio owner, I get asked all the time which type of practice is best.  The answer is they are both good and were meant to be done together or to complement each other.  The mat exercises can actually be harder, whereas the equipment based exercise can provide assistance in getting your body in the correct position.  Both are popular and work to achieve the same thing.  People like Pilates because everyone can take something from the method and it makes you feel better.  There is a sense of consistency in the exercises, yet they are challenging because no matter how many times you repeat them you can learn something new.  The more mind-body connection you have, the harder the exercises can become.

Pilates is great for cross training and improving core strength and flexibility.  The more you practice Pilates and experience the different pieces of equipment the more options are available to you.  You always want to be sure you have a good strong base in the method and that you are working within the principles it was built on; Centering, Control, Concentration, Breath, Flow and Precision.  Everyone can experience and do Pilates, it is an individual experience and it will be slightly different for everyone, because everyone’s body is unique.  The important thing to note is you will reap the benefits of adding this exercise method to your workout routine.

With the New Year right around the corner you might want to consider giving Pilates a try if you haven’t already.  You might be pleasantly surprised with the results!  Joseph Pilates had a saying: “In 10 sessions you feel the difference, in 20 sessions you see the difference and in 30 sessions you will have a whole new body.”


[i] Schroeder,J. & Dolan, D., (2010) 2010 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment, IDEA Fitness Journal,7(7), 22-31

[ii] Schroeder,J. & Dolan, D., (2010) 2010 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment, IDEA Fitness Journal,7(7), 22-31

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